Supporting Teachers So They Can Lead the Way By Paul Stallings

I believe in teachers, and I believe children are our future. Yes, it’s straight from the song Greatest Love of All. We must teach them well, and let them lead the way.

In an effort to support those who lead the way, I am honored to support Junior Achievement (JA). Since 1919, JA has worked with local businesses and organizations in an effort to increase learning and hands-on experiences for students from kindergarten to high school through experiential learning programs on the topics of financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

JA has many opportunities to educate our youth regarding business and financial literacy. During the last three years, I have been proud to work with other Florida Blue leaders and employees on a unique program with Junior Achievement of North Florida, called JA in a Day. Without a doubt, it has become one of the most meaningful days of my life. This program is very rewarding and allows me to give back to the community in a way that helps children meet their full potential.

JA in a Day is a way to deliver JA’s lessons of financial literacy to particular grade levels on the same day. Here at Florida Blue we have been blessed to work with two elementary schools in the Duval County Public School District. We start months in advance, training over 90 employee volunteers who have a great opportunity to get involved in a community activity and show our support for teachers. They literally take over the class for the day, making meaningful connections with students and teachers. It’s a wonderful experience that supports teachers so they can lead the way.

I believe teachers appreciate someone else taking over for a day. It helps connect their curriculum with real world economics based on the foundations of the JA program. This program is about making a difference one class at a time. It’s hard work because by the end of the day, many of us realize how much patience, guidance and inspiration it takes for teachers, and our gratefulness is limitless.

Taking over a class for a day may not be as dramatic as the crescendos Whitney Houston achieved in the song the Greatest Love of All, but it’s a testament of how the smallest things we can do for our teachers can be significant.

  Paul Stallings serves as Florida Blue’s Vice President of IT Infrastructure Services. In this role, he provides capabilities that increase companywide agility to quickly respond to business changes and customer needs. With more than 22 years of experience in information technology, he has been published for the effectiveness of his teams’ work in several industry leading magazines including Network World, Computer World and Info World.

Paul Stallings serves as Florida Blue’s Vice President of IT Infrastructure Services. In this role, he provides capabilities that increase companywide agility to quickly respond to business changes and customer needs. With more than 22 years of experience in information technology, he has been published for the effectiveness of his teams’ work in several industry leading magazines including Network World, Computer World and Info World.